Jump to content

Demand for CRNAs in the northwest


I've been seriously considering becoming a CRNA. I live in the Pacific Northwest south of Seattle. I have a friend who is an anesthesiologist who mentioned that he didn't think there was much demand for CRNAs here. He said that the doctors are attracted to the coasts which leaves most of the demand for CRNAs in the midwest. Is that true? If I did get through school would I find it difficult to find work?

I'm not sure how much truth there is to that. I know some areas are more CRNA friendly than others. It may be more CRNA friendly towards Spokane/Coeur 'd Alene, seeing that Gonzaga has a program. However, I know that the University of Pittsburgh has UDub as a final semester clinical site. So there must be some need for CRNAs in the Seattle area. You might consider talking to a CRNA in your area about what his/her views are. I'm a native of the Spokane/Cd'A area. But I graduated from the U of Utah (go Utes!). I opted to move to Pittsburgh because it is a more CRNA friendly area vs. Salt Lake. And I wanted a better chance of getting into school since there are so few (but very good) schools in the west. However, I do plan on returning west eventually, but I need to search out the CRNA friendly areas first. Seattle is my favorite city in the world and I wouldn't mind working there myself.

I wanted to respond because my ultimate goal (like 10 years from now) would be to move to rural Oregon and independently practice as a CRNA. I've looked into the outlook for CRNAs in Oregon. I've found some facts... According to the Oregon Association of Nurse Anesthetists: http://www.oregon-crna.org/

"About 60% of our members practice in the greater Portland area. The remaining 40% of our members practice throughout the rest of the state."

"Oregon is the 11th state to opt out"

"CRNAs provide 80% of the anesthesia services to rural Oregonians as solo independent anesthesia providers"

This trend of statements indicate that there is work to be found, especially if you want to independently practice. I am curious to hear from other Pacific Northwest CRNAs.

There is plenty of work in Seattle. However, they don't pay that well when you factor in cost of living. The Portland area also has a few hospitals that hire CRNA's too. Spokane would be a good area if you like small towns. I don't think you would have any problem finding a job in WA, OR, or ID. I'm from the spokane area and I know a lot of CRNA's in the area.

I have run into lots of CRNA's at UW and Harborveiw

I lived in Tacoma for 7 years. Finished nursing school there and went straight into critical care, also did agency work in other area hospitals. Very rarely saw a CRNA in Tacoma area but plenty in outlying hospitals. I think the Sea-Tac area is very dominated by MDA's due to UDub's medical school. There is definitely work for CRNA's-you would probably be better off looking into the hospitals that aren't downtown Seattle/Tacoma. Try researching in areas like Kent, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton etc- these are all in the Sea-Tac metro area but you would have the advantage of not fighting the icky downtown traffic situation (although most areas have traffic concerns there!) and some are not in King County which has the highest cost of living. Keep looking, there is a need for CRNA's in the northwest!!

I'm in Olympia. Do you know about this area?

Don't know too much about the hospitals in Olympia and south-try searching the CRNA job postings on the net and see if any areas match Oly or not. some will tell you the city and some will just tell you the general area. I'm sure the demand may be a little higher because you're farther away from 'the big city' :chuckle of Seattle. Smaller hospitals also tend to go for CRNA staff due to budgets etc. You can also find out which anesthesia groups service the hospitals (call the hospital or check the phone book under physician services) there and call them and see if they have CRNA spots available. Hope this helps.

I'm gradutating from Gonzaga in less than six months, and there seemed to be jobs almost anywhere in the Northwest I looked.

The difficult part of course was finding the perfect job.

How do you like Gonzaga's program? I noticed that the emphasis is on education. What exactly does that mean? Do they gear the program more towards becoming a CRNA instructor? Do you have to teach as part of the curriculum? Is it extremely difficult to get into the program? I noticed that they only accept 7 students.


Specializes in CRNA, ICU,ER,Cathlab, PACU.

future...no work for us yet in Olympia....St Petes and Cap Med both have contracts with MDA only groups. Closest to us is Madigan, Prov Centralia, and Mason County General. Harborview/UWMC, Virginia Mason, and the VA are big CRNA employers in the Wa Northwest.

Hows the weather up there lately? Where are you working? I am an old Cap Med / Madigan Alumnus.

A good barometer of jobs and responsibilities is found on Gaswork.com (not gasworkS.com). It will not factor in regional cost of living, but you can get a feel for salaries, perks, and expectations regarding skills (regional, central lines, etc.). You might also contact Paul Hilliard at Northwest Anesthesia (NWAS.com). He is based in Pasco, but might have some knowledge of the area. Additionally, he runs a pretty good CRNA continuing education program.

I also live in the NW area, and have searched extensively for information indicating the avalibility of jobs. I definetly found a few on the various internet employment sites. I figure that for every job posted on the internet, there are probably another 4 or 5 that aren't. Any thoughts on this anyone?

I figured another solution would be to do Locum work in other states. I emailed about 4 recruiters from travel companies and found that unlike many travel companies for RNs, they could all place a new CRNA grad. Of course, you'd have to be very careful about what kind of assignment you took, but I think your education would prepare you to make that decision.

I also contacted some CRNAs via email from various states (actually, officers from the fancy state Association of Nurse Anesthetists) and asked about the employment potential in their states. Unfortunately, only about 30% of them wrote back, which I thought was pretty weak for a so-called "Professional Association".

The AANA was helpful in giving me some contacts in various states, too.

Finally, I concluded that I shouldn't worry much more about finding work, and start studying instead.

This topic is now closed to further replies.